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  #4121  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 3:12 AM
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Though more plain than I'd have liked, I like that they are duplexes, and that they aren't faced in some horrible vinyl siding that's become too common with infill these days. Still, I think they could break up the facades a bit without breaking their budget. Even a few simple insets, articulations, etc...would do wonders.

Anyway, that concept for Lahser and Grand River is way out of scale for the area. It'd be decades off, anyway, before something like that could even be considered out there, probably. But I don't even want them dreaming about something like that out there.
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  #4122  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 11:49 AM
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That's great background density. Nothing fancy, but still quality. It's exactly what Detroit needs - to start filling in the many underutilizes residential streets. The fact that they are duplexes means that they have quite a bit of density over what Detroit has typically been building for new lowrise stock.
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  #4123  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 4:11 PM
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Anyway, that concept for Lahser and Grand River is way out of scale for the area. It'd be decades off, anyway, before something like that could even be considered out there, probably. But I don't even want them dreaming about something like that out there.
High-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings (as well as office buildings) are pretty commonly scattered around Metro Detroit in otherwise low-density areas so in that regard, it wouldn't be too unusual. Though it'd certainly be one of the tallest around and one of the few not buffered by parking lots or trees.

I just wonder if it could be financially feasible without some sort of major subsidies. It's not the most desirable/active area so I don't think rents would be able to go high enough to justify the cost of construction.
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  #4124  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 6:40 PM
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High-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings (as well as office buildings) are pretty commonly scattered around Metro Detroit in otherwise low-density areas so in that regard, it wouldn't be too unusual. Though it'd certainly be one of the tallest around and one of the few not buffered by parking lots or trees.

I just wonder if it could be financially feasible without some sort of major subsidies. It's not the most desirable/active area so I don't think rents would be able to go high enough to justify the cost of construction.
My first thoughts were what the block between Lasher and Evergreen needs is infill along with new/renovated storefronts along Grand River from Lasher to McNichols. Once you get past the new Meijer and retail plaza i would say Grand River going through the Rosedale area is really quite vibrant i would say it's second only to Livernois in the University District for the best retail corridor outside of downtown.

There are other highrises in the area 7 mile and Evergreen has one but i agree that the economics for that kind of project would be very hard to make work right now if at all. However that area is a very complex but important spot for NW Detroit you essential have the border Rosedale and Brightmoor there and past that point Grand River corridor becomes much more suburban. I do love the idea of doing something there and something at Grand River and Greenfield to really hook up G.R. with downtown and Redford/Farmington Hills.
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  #4125  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 10:31 PM
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I know the area; I know that there are other "highrises" in the area. This would be a whole other scale. The senior apartment buildings and such scattered in this area of Detroit rarely top 140 feet. This would be totally out of scale for a neighborhood like that.

Anyway, the Hudson development has been dumped down a bit - at least the podium - but the height has been increased to 800 feet:

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  #4126  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 11:56 PM
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I don't like the redesign of the Hudson's site. The base was far better in the previous rendering, much more interest and architectural uniqueness. Bring back the curves and voids of the previous design. Now the new design could just be any old building in any major city anywhere in the world.
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  #4127  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 11:59 PM
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I know the area; I know that there are other "highrises" in the area. This would be a whole other scale. The senior apartment buildings and such scattered in this area of Detroit rarely top 140 feet. This would be totally out of scale for a neighborhood like that.
You have Southfield only a couple miles away with taller buildings among low-rise development so it's still not that unusual. It'd be easier to argue that D Tow(n)er doesn't architecturally jive with the surrounding area or at the very least, the downtown area of Old Redford being the ultra modern design that it is. Though even then, the area is mostly post-war bungalows and ranches that are like a dime in a dozen for most of the city.
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  #4128  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 12:06 AM
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I really liked the previous base as well with the sweeping style.
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  #4129  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 12:49 AM
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I don't like the redesign of the Hudson's site. The base was far better in the previous rendering, much more interest and architectural uniqueness. Bring back the curves and voids of the previous design. Now the new design could just be any old building in any major city anywhere in the world.
Though there have been significant changes, it's really weird to have people say this is "any old building," now. It's really not. This is not something they are typically building in other American cities outside the big ones, right now.

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You have Southfield only a couple miles away with taller buildings among low-rise development so it's still not that unusual. It'd be easier to argue that D Tow(n)er doesn't architecturally jive with the surrounding area or at the very least, the downtown area of Old Redford being the ultra modern design that it is. Though even then, the area is mostly post-war bungalows and ranches that are like a dime in a dozen for most of the city.
See, I don't see Southfield as a positive example. I don't want to see Detroit like Houston where you have skyscrapers next door to one-story 50's bungalows. That's not the kind of Detroit I want to see. Southfield is also also a city just now seeing the error of their ways and trying to correct their terrible urban planning. Fortunately, Detroit's zoning code would largely make sure something like this doesn't happen. These are neighborhood nodes, not central business districts or even tertiary/regional business districts. There is more than enough room along Jefferson or in the old city core for skyscrapers.
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  #4130  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:44 AM
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Though there have been significant changes, it's really weird to have people say this is "any old building," now. It's really not. This is not something they are typically building in other American cities outside the big ones, right now.
I think the boxiness of it is what makes it generic. A lot of modern skyscrapers are getting pretty boxy either because that's the cheaper way to build them or easier to fill with tenants because of the lack of odd spaces. Not only that, but this new design just looks so jumbled with no cohesiveness with itself. It's very pretty to look at, but it's honestly a hot mess.

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See, I don't see Southfield as a positive example. I don't want to see Detroit like Houston where you have skyscrapers next door to one-story 50's bungalows. That's not the kind of Detroit I want to see. Southfield is also also a city just now seeing the error of their ways and trying to correct their terrible urban planning. Fortunately, Detroit's zoning code would largely make sure something like this doesn't happen. These are neighborhood nodes, not central business districts or even tertiary/regional business districts. There is more than enough room along Jefferson or in the old city core for skyscrapers.
Lol, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't think Detroit will ever end up sprouting a sprawl of non-core skyscrapers like Houston, but it's not like Detroit hasn't already built skyscrapers outside of the CBD which were then predominately low-rise residential areas. It's more or less the natural growth of a bigger city.
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  #4131  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 9:08 AM
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More of the Capitol Park redo from Curbed.







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  #4132  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 12:42 PM
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I think the boxiness of it is what makes it generic. A lot of modern skyscrapers are getting pretty boxy either because that's the cheaper way to build them or easier to fill with tenants because of the lack of odd spaces. Not only that, but this new design just looks so jumbled with no cohesiveness with itself. It's very pretty to look at, but it's honestly a hot mess.



Lol, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't think Detroit will ever end up sprouting a sprawl of non-core skyscrapers like Houston, but it's not like Detroit hasn't already built skyscrapers outside of the CBD which were then predominately low-rise residential areas. It's more or less the natural growth of a bigger city.
To your first paragraph, let's be frank. The only way we were going to get something close to this scale on the Hudson site was if it were box-y and generic. Detroit simply isn't desirable enough (nor does it give investors enough return on their investment) for anything more sophisicated. In hindsight, it should makes us regret demolishing the old Hudson building out of haste, but what's done is done. You can't change the past and you have to play the cards you're dealt with.

As far as your second paragraph, that makes no sense. For one, unlike Houston, Detroit actually have the right bones to support high density developments (remember, during its peak, it was just about as dense as Philadelphia). Hell, if sprawly Nashville can manage to accomplish a ton of higher-density infill despite their lack of transit, we can do the same. The problem, again, has been the lack of demand /desirability and the poor return that investors would get. But as long we just don't rubber stamp any ol' crap for construction (like the abomination on the Statler site) and be patient as Dan Gilbert does his thing, more and more investors will want to do increasingly larger scale and cohesive projects downtown and throughout the city.
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  #4133  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 2:35 PM
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Below is a very good article from Rochelle Riley from the Free Press. It has some critical highlights in it as well:

http://www.freep.com/story/news/colu...oit/662745001/

1. According to Duggan, Snyder did informally give his blessing in a phone conversation for Detroit to get this.

2. Shockingly, it appears L. Brooks Patterson will in fact cooperate with putting together a one "Detroit" bid.

Also, I thought the entire part of the article below was especially on point:

..."When John (CEO of Walbridge, which built the Tennessee plant) was in Frankfurt talking to the then-CEO of Volkswagen, Michigan and Tennessee were the two finalist states, and Volkswagen ended up picking Tennessee. When John asked why, the CEO said that the financial deal put on the table by the state of Michigan was actually slightly better than the one from Tennessee but they chose Tennessee because of what he called 'cohesion.'

"He said there were multiple levels of government unified and everyone saying, 'We have one bid for you and we're all going to support this,' Baruah recalled. "In Michigan, people were tripping over each other and there were multiple bids and no alignment. People were competing against each other and we wanted a region where if we had a problem, we knew the region would come together to solve the problem as opposed to pointing fingers.


"That's why we’ve been working so hard to make sure this Amazon bid is a regional bid."

Baruah said the Amazon team was within "24 to 48 hours away from having an organizational ethos set."

"And when I say 'we,' I mean regional economic developers, the political officials ... We're at that point where we understand this needs to be one bid. We can’t go with multiple bids; we need to present the region. They’re obviously looking at downtown Detroit. But when you look at what they've done in Seattle, there are over 33 buildings in Seattle, so we know if we’re successful, chances are they might start expanding into different areas for different purposes and we want them to understand the entire set of assets the region has."

Baruah also said that if Amazon chooses Detroit, the company's employees would live across the region...
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  #4134  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 10:11 PM
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So, are the cobble stone roads included in the park redesign? They seem obviously displayed in every render.
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  #4135  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 11:35 PM
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To your first paragraph, let's be frank. The only way we were going to get something close to this scale on the Hudson site was if it were box-y and generic. Detroit simply isn't desirable enough (nor does it give investors enough return on their investment) for anything more sophisicated. In hindsight, it should makes us regret demolishing the old Hudson building out of haste, but what's done is done. You can't change the past and you have to play the cards you're dealt with.
I was under the impression that the original proposal wasn't going to cost as much since this redesign comes with a bigger price tag. Also Dan Gilbert through Bedrock is financing most of the Hudson's project and he's stated before that he's well aware that he'll lose money on the first few years on the project. Though that's why he owns so much other real estate around downtown to soften the blow.

The original design would have actually had a lot of empty space because of the odd shaped areas on the ground floor. One of the freep articles mentions that the redesign moved a lot of the retail space from the basement to the ground floor. It has nothing to do with Detroit's desirability and entirely more to do with Gilbert being able to make money off the space inside his building. The redesign probably allows for bigger and/or possibly more numerous retailers.

Quote:
As far as your second paragraph, that makes no sense. For one, unlike Houston, Detroit actually have the right bones to support high density developments (remember, during its peak, it was just about as dense as Philadelphia). Hell, if sprawly Nashville can manage to accomplish a ton of higher-density infill despite their lack of transit, we can do the same. The problem, again, has been the lack of demand /desirability and the poor return that investors would get. But as long we just don't rubber stamp any ol' crap for construction (like the abomination on the Statler site) and be patient as Dan Gilbert does his thing, more and more investors will want to do increasingly larger scale and cohesive projects downtown and throughout the city.
Huh? I never said anything about Detroit being unable to support high density, but more along the lines that Detroit wouldn't likely have a mass growth of high density projects abutting low-rise areas, like Houston. My point was with places like New Center and even along Jefferson, high rises were built in areas that otherwise had low-rise development. There's not necessarily always a smooth transition between low density and high density areas.
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  #4136  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 1:31 AM
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The Platform is under contract to buy this parcel and so far have planned for retail along Gratiot and residential towards the Dequindere Cut.



http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article...e-near-eastern

Also Olympia demolished the property (or so far part of it) behind the Women's City Club. Turns out it used to be a recording studio.


https://www.facebook.com/HistoricDet...73152369418179

And finally, the MCS has been lit up with LED lights for Detroit's Homecoming event.

Video Link





http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/in...gan_centr.html

Last edited by animatedmartian; Sep 15, 2017 at 1:50 AM.
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  #4137  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 5:27 AM
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I was under the impression that the original proposal wasn't going to cost as much since this redesign comes with a bigger price tag. Also Dan Gilbert through Bedrock is financing most of the Hudson's project and he's stated before that he's well aware that he'll lose money on the first few years on the project. Though that's why he owns so much other real estate around downtown to soften the blow.

The original design would have actually had a lot of empty space because of the odd shaped areas on the ground floor. One of the freep articles mentions that the redesign moved a lot of the retail space from the basement to the ground floor. It has nothing to do with Detroit's desirability and entirely more to do with Gilbert being able to make money off the space inside his building. The redesign probably allows for bigger and/or possibly more numerous retailers.
Well my point is there's no incentive for Gilbert to build something as grandiose as you desire, because he's simply not going to get a Chicago or NYC-type of ROI on it. After all, he is a businessman first and foremost. The Hudson site project is essentially nothing more than him saying he built something transformative in the city.

The fact that he's the only one to propose anything in Detroit of its scale and he has to pay for it entirely out of pocket IMO shows that it's not economically feasible otherwise if it were left up to true free market principles, this wouldn't be happening.

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Huh? I never said anything about Detroit being unable to support high density, but more along the lines that Detroit wouldn't likely have a mass growth of high density projects abutting low-rise areas, like Houston. My point was with places like New Center and even along Jefferson, high rises were built in areas that otherwise had low-rise development. There's not necessarily always a smooth transition between low density and high density areas.
Now I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. What does "high density projects abutting low-rise areas" mean? They're not mutually exclusive, as it's possible to have high density (as in high population density) with low-rise development (see Brooklyn or the neighborhoods in Philadelphia as an example).

Concerning high rises you see in areas that are surrounded by mostly low-rise development (I guess you're referring to places like the Lee Plaza or the Fisher Building), you have to bear in mind when and how the city grew in the first place. Detroit was on the verge of a massive skyscraper boom during the 1920s, but the depression basically killed that momentum. When developers of the high rises along Jefferson and the New Center area constructed their buildings, there was good reason to believe at the time that they'd soon be surrounded by other high rises in the near future (given the city's rapid growth). The same exact thing is/was happening in Atlanta. When BOA Plaza and One Atlantic Center were built, they were also surrounded by a bunch of low-rise development. Fast forward to today and a ton of other skyscrapers have gone up and are going up around them. Same thing occurred in NYC and Chicago as well. Unfortunately, in Detroit, that never happened.

That being said, I don't see how having these now seemingly out-of-place high rises in the areas you mentioned have/had any bearing on the density of the surrounding areas. They were still crowded / bustling neighborhoods and in terms of how land was utilized, it was all cohesive at the time (in other words, no vacant land).

As a final point, Detroit, at least in theory, has zoning laws to ensure cohesive land development and the smooth transition between higher and low density areas (having them enforced is an entirely different discussion). Houston has absolutely no zoning laws, so it's not comparable.
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  #4138  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 7:20 AM
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My only hope is that someone will push them to include the facade of the existing two-story building. I don't see why they couldn't do this.
Speak of the devil, the historic district commission has gotten Bedrock to save the facade of the two-story Book Tower Arcade, and also sounds like the garage will be an elevator garage like at Merchants Row on Woodward:

Quote:


The Historic District Commission approved an odd, complicated plan for Bedrock, who intended to demolish a two-story next to the Book Building in order to build a parking garage. Preservationists and neighbors objected to the loss of the structure, and an agreement was made to save the facade and demolish the interior of the building.

The valet parking garage will be 12 to 13 stories using a flat deck with elevators; Bedrock intends to keep the first two stories for retail use.

https://detroit.curbed.com/2017/9/14...ilding-parking
And, it appears the new homes going up on Woodbridge also approved the historic homes to go up along Trumbull:

Quote:


The houses will include a small (too small, according to many) front porch, a two-car garage, a backyard, deck, and basement. They’ll be about 1,800 square feet with three bedrooms. Many will be attached duplexes, while others will be detached. The initial plan calls for 19 homes, with eight more in the future. The developers plan to break ground in spring 2018.

https://detroit.curbed.com/2017/9/14...al-development
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  #4139  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 12:57 PM
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Well my point is there's no incentive for Gilbert to build something as grandiose as you desire, because he's simply not going to get a Chicago or NYC-type of ROI on it. After all, he is a businessman first and foremost. The Hudson site project is essentially nothing more than him saying he built something transformative in the city.

The fact that he's the only one to propose anything in Detroit of its scale and he has to pay for it entirely out of pocket IMO shows that it's not economically feasible otherwise if it were left up to true free market principles, this wouldn't be happening.
The Hudson's project costs just slightly more than Little Ceasers Arena so he's not the only one to propose (and actually build something) of this scale. That has nothing to do with the fact that the redesign looks worse than the original, imo.

Quote:
Now I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. What does "high density projects abutting low-rise areas" mean? They're not mutually exclusive, as it's possible to have high density (as in high population density) with low-rise development (see Brooklyn or the neighborhoods in Philadelphia as an example).

Concerning high rises you see in areas that are surrounded by mostly low-rise development (I guess you're referring to places like the Lee Plaza or the Fisher Building), you have to bear in mind when and how the city grew in the first place. Detroit was on the verge of a massive skyscraper boom during the 1920s, but the depression basically killed that momentum. When developers of the high rises along Jefferson and the New Center area constructed their buildings, there was good reason to believe at the time that they'd soon be surrounded by other high rises in the near future (given the city's rapid growth). The same exact thing is/was happening in Atlanta. When BOA Plaza and One Atlantic Center were built, they were also surrounded by a bunch of low-rise development. Fast forward to today and a ton of other skyscrapers have gone up and are going up around them. Same thing occurred in NYC and Chicago as well. Unfortunately, in Detroit, that never happened.

That being said, I don't see how having these now seemingly out-of-place high rises in the areas you mentioned have/had any bearing on the density of the surrounding areas. They were still crowded / bustling neighborhoods and in terms of how land was utilized, it was all cohesive at the time (in other words, no vacant land).

As a final point, Detroit, at least in theory, has zoning laws to ensure cohesive land development and the smooth transition between higher and low density areas (having them enforced is an entirely different discussion). Houston has absolutely no zoning laws, so it's not comparable.
The original discussion was about having a 300 foot tower being hypothesized in Old Redford which has mostly low-rise development. My point is that it's not unusual to have a building, such as the Fisher Building at 450 feet, being built adjacent to 2 and 3 story structures, with the exception of the GM building across the street. At the time, that was way outside the CBD. So, my point is it's not unusual to have high rises away from the city core but Detroit wouldn't end up like Houston with dozens of high rises scattered all over the place.
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  #4140  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 1:02 PM
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Also Olympia demolished the property (or so far part of it) behind the Women's City Club. Turns out it used to be a recording studio.
Yep this place was Ghetto Recorders, Jim Diamond's studio. It was a legendary place in Detroit's garage rock scene. The first two White Stripes albums were recorded there. The Dirtbombs, The Go, The Sights, The High Strung, Electric Six, The Von Bondies all recorded there. Jim got pushed out in 2014 (I think) due to rising rent.
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